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1-15-23 The Place to Be

The Place to Be (1 Corinthians 1:1-9)

David Peterson / General

Election; Purpose; Church Nature / 1 Corinthians 1:1–9

Sermon type: Topical-Textual

Proposition: We have been chosen and given a purpose, i.e., to be the people of God, and God will be faithful to fulfill his purpose in us.


1. Recent celebrity deaths: Barbara Walters and Lisa Marie Presley

2. The benefits of celebrity fleeting but point to a deep need fulfilled in Christ

3. Paul wants them to live by their convictions

Conviction Builds the Church

There is a perceptive story told of Heinrich Heine, the German poet, who was standing with a friend before the cathedral of Amiens in France. “Tell me, Heinrich,” said his friend, “why can’t people build piles like this anymore?”

“My dear friend,” replied Heine, “in those days people had convictions. We moderns have opinions. And it takes more than an opinion to build a Gothic cathedral.”

Jones, G. C. (1986). 1000 illustrations for preaching and teaching (p. 66). Broadman & Holman Publishers.

I. Chosen and Given Status (1 Cor. 1:2a)

1. Explanation

a. Paul, an apostle by the will of God (v. 1)

b. The church of God, set apart (sanctified) in Christ Jesus (v. 2)

2. Application

3. Illustration

The “Small” Church

Carl S. Dudley wrote, In a big world, the small church has remained intimate. In a fast world, the small church has been steady. In an expensive world, the small church has remained plain. In a complex world, the small church has remained simple. In a rational world, the small church has kept feelings. In a mobile world, the small church has been an anchor. In an anonymous world, the small church calls us by name.

Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson’s complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed., p. 702). Thomas Nelson Publishers.

II. Called and Given Purpose (1 Cor. 1:2b)

1. Explanation

a. Called, given a mission to fulfill

b. To be holy is to be an expression of God’s presence, his character expressed in actions

c. They’ve been given the knowledge of what that looks like (v. 5)

2. Application

3. Illustration

The Holiness of Jesus

The difference between Jesus’ holiness ethic and that of the Pharisees is this: the Pharisees refuse to touch any unclean thing. Jesus aims to make the unclean holy.

Source: Mark Galli, Jesus Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God (Baker, 2006), p. 44

III. Confirmed and Given Strength (1 Cor. 1:6)

1. Explanation

a. The outer testimony led to faith and life. Grace was evident (v. 4)

b. God’s power will enable them to do the hard thing (v.8)

c. God is faithful (v. 9)

2. Application

3. Illustration

God Alone Is Permanent

David Lawrence–one of my favorite people; he’s in heaven now–was the only non-senator who was a member of the Senate prayer breakfast. He never missed and often was asked to speak. He was the founder, and at the time he wrote this, editor, of U.S. News and World Report, This editorial was written May 5, 1956. David Lawrence wrote, “It is a temporary answer to the threat of world disturbance that we face. The North Atlantic Treaty is temporary. The United Nations is temporary. All our alliances are temporary. Basically there is only one permanence we can all accept. It is the permanence of a God-governed world, for the power of God alone is permanent. Obedience to his laws is the only road to lasting solutions to man’s problems.”

Source: Richard Halverson, “The Question Facing Us,” Preaching Today, Tape 46.


My Church

A room of quiet,

a temple of peace;

A home of faith—

where doubtings cease

A house of comfort,

where hope is given;

A source of strength

to help us to heaven;

A place of worship,

a place to pray—

I found all this

in my Church today.

—Owen W. Glassburn

Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 242). Bible Communications, Inc.



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